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Information Skills

Videos and online tutorials to support and develop information skills.

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Choosing Resources

The first step in the research process is knowing where to search. At the library homepage, you can begin searching for a wide range of scholarly resources from different kinds of databases.

There are also many relevant and scholarly resources on the internet. However, be sure to evaluate these resources using the REVIEW criteria.

This tutorial will show you where to find a variety of resources from within the library and via the internet.

Types of Resources

In your assignments, you will be required to use a variety of information sources. Click each item below to learn more about the types of resources that may be useful for your assessment tasks. You will be given a description of the resource, an explanation of how it might be used and links to some examples.

Description

Provide an overview of a subject area or of a number of related topics.  They may also include detailed information about a specific topic or topics. Search for print books using MultiSearch.  These items may be collected from library shelves or requested from other campuses. eBooks are searchable from MultiSearch or A-Z Databases and may be read online or downloaded to any PC or device.

Purpose

Use books to gather comprehensive information on a topic. In the library, you will find mostly academic, non-fiction items which may be used in your assessment tasks to sketch out an overview on a subject or to illustrate an in-depth understanding.

Examples

Relevant Links

Description

Journal publications, sometimes called periodicals or serials, contain articles which offer research, reports, reviews, letters and other papers on specific topics. They are usually published weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. Academic publications are often peer-reviewed and as such provide up-to-date information from authorised sources. Search for journal articles via MultiSearch and A-Z Databases. Search for journal publications using A-Z Journals. You can also search for articles on the internet via Google Scholar or Researchgate

Purpose

Journal articles can provide you with more up-to-date information on specific aspects of a topic, and in smaller more digestible packages than books. Use journal publications to access scholarly research on a topic, often from a unique or new perspective.

Examples

Relevant Links

Description

Audiovisual material in the form of DVDs, podcasts, online streaming and so on, is searchable from MultiSearch or A-Z Databases. Videos in the library include movies, conferences and seminars, tutorials, documentaries and much more.

Purpose

AV items may be used as instructional material or gain an understanding of a topic by way of visual or concrete examples. 

Examples

Relevant Links

Description

News items are published at regular intervals and provide new information about various topics of interest to the general public. Magazines are also produced regularly and may focus on a particular subject area or cover a range of topics, again for consumption by the general public. The information within news publications and magazines are not in themselves scholarly works but may refer to academic sources. These sources can be found by searching MultiSearch or A-Z Databases

Purpose

To access recent or new information about current affairs, social, economic or political issues which provide an overview or introduction in digestible and readable packages.  While not scholarly information, these resources may be required for use in particular assessment tasks or point towards recent research in a particular field. 

Examples

Relevant Links

Description

Reference items such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks and industry standards provide an overview of a subject area, or include specific definitions, technical or practical information. They are searchable via MultiSearch and A-Z Databases. Reference works at ACAP over a range of topics including but not limited to sociology, social work and philosophy, psychology, counselling and mental illness, legal materials and policies, diagnoses, drug overviews, care planning and best practices for healthcare workers.

Purpose

Useful for a broad understanding of a topic, theory or theorist or for assessment tasks which require technical or practical information about a particular industry or field of inquiry. 

Examples

Description

A website is a set of related and interlinked pages which are hosted on the World Wide Web (WWW). A webpage refers to the individual pages contained within these sites. To search the WWW, download an internet browser (we recommend Google Chrome) and use a search engine such as Google to find content.

Purpose

The websites of particular institutions and government departments may be useful for your assessment tasks. You might also want to look at scholarly sites, such as Google Scholar, Researchgate, State Libraries, academic publishers and journal indexing services, to find the most scholarly information on the Web. Links recommended by the library can be found on the Useful Websites page. 

Examples

Description

Conference papers are presented at conferences which are usually themed around a specific subject area or set of related topics and presented as a collection of proceedings. Some papers may be peer-reviewed and are searchable from MultiSearch, within journal databasesDissertation Express or via Libraries Australia Trove database. A thesis or dissertation involves personal research, written by a candidate for an advanced university degree. Theses are also searchable from MultiSearchTrove, or within individual academic institutional repositories and indexing databases such as PQDT OpenNDLTDCORE and DART.

Purpose

Conference proceedings and theses can provide you with an in-depth look at some of the latest research on specific aspects of a topic.

Examples

Relevant Links

Description

Legal resources include documents such as, but not limited to Bills, Acts, regulations, statutory laws, by-laws, proceedings of Parliament, legal cases and tribunal decisions. Some of these resources may be found by searching MultiSearch, in databases such as AustLII or JADE or within legislative sites for individual states and territories. You will also find cases and tribunal decisions on the websites of regulatory authorities such as AHPRA.

Purpose

Use these information sources when you need to refer to current laws, records, cases and decisions in your assessment tasks.   

Examples

Relevant Links

Description

Government policies, reports, gazettes, media releases and parliamentary publications such as Hansards, are available from various websites here in Australia.  You can also search Google to find individual publications. MultiSearch and journal databases will include some government papers and reports in search results.  However, you should also directly consult federal and state departments and agencies, Libraries Australia GovPubs, the Analysis and Policy Observatory and State and Federal Parliamentary libraries. 

Purpose

Use these sources in your assessment tasks to access up-to-date and authoritative information on subject areas which may be affected by Federal or State government.

Examples

Description

Statistical reports and data from sites such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics gather information for a particular field of research or to report on the views and habits of the population. Data collection may be performed via interviews, questionnaires, surveys, censuses and so on. You'll also be able to search for and access statistical information using MultiSearch and journal databases. Other important sites for statistics include the Australian Institute of Family StudiesAustralian Institute of Health & Welfare and HILDA.

Purpose

An important part of the research in any field of study, statistical reporting and datasets are useful for description, analysis and comparison in your assessment tasks.

Examples

Library Resources

The first step in the research process is knowing where to search. From the library homepage, you can begin searching for a wide range of scholarly resources from different kinds of databases. Click each image below to view a description of the content. 

 

 

Internet Resources

There are many relevant and scholarly resources on the internet. However, be sure to evaluate these resources using the REVIEW criteria.

Google Scholar enables you to search the web for scholarly literature, including peer reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports. Not everything you find in Scholar is accessible for free. However, you are able to link Google Scholar results to full text journals held by the library. To learn more about connecting Google Scholar to the Library, go to the Library's Useful Websites page.

You can also search for grey literature using a general Google search. Grey literature may include unpublished or published documents in non-commercial form e.g. government reports, policy statements and issue papers. For example the search 'food insecurity australia policy' will bring back a range of links to policies around food security in Australia.  Remember to always apply the REVIEW criteria to resources you find on the internet. 

ResearchGate is an excellent social media resource for faculty members, university students, alumni and researchers at educational institutions. It is a great place to see what researchers are currently working on and access information about them. Join ResearchGate to showcase your own publications and get stats; connect with colleagues; and access publications for free.

Government departments at both a state and national level make a wide range of information freely available to the public. Likewise, institutions and organisations will often provide useful information through their official websites. These sites can often be found by running a simple Google search. You can also find a list on the Library's Useful Websites page.

The state library in your capital city provides online access to large collections of books and ebooks, journals articles, manuscripts, pictures, news archives and much more. Other libraries which offer similar online services to members include: Trove; The National Library of Australia; Parliamentary Library Australia.

Analysis & Policy Observatory is a research database and alert service providing free access to full text research reports and papers, statistics and other resources essential for public policy development and implementation in Australia and New Zealand.

PubMed is a scholarly index PubMed comprising more than 28 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. Items you find in PubMed will need to be acced via MultiSearch or by request using the Interlibrary Loan system. 

Drag and drop resources into the appropriate categories